If you’re residing in the Netherlands with a partner, you may be looking for a simple way to manage your finances. This is where you can consider a joint bank account. Available at most Dutch banks, joint bank accounts allow you and another person to share an account and manage your finances together.
This guide will explore the range of joint current accounts in the Netherlands, and how to pick the best one for you.
Compare a range of joint bank accounts in the Netherlands
What is a joint bank account?
A joint current account is a current account that is held in multiple names and accessible by more than one person. It can be used by family members to save towards a common goal or even businesses where teams of people monitor and analyse account balances.
What are the benefits of having a joint current account?
If you are going to live together with a partner or roommate, in many cases, you’ll also share the costs for the house, groceries and other bills. A joint account can be handy for the management of these shared expenses.
For instance, both partners can lodge a certain amount into the account each month, which will be used to cover all shared expenses. This takes the hassle out of each partner having the responsibility of paying bills themselves and then working out who owes who money each month.
With direct debits set up and each partner having a debit card to access the account for both in-store or online purchases, there is less time and effort involved in controlling your finances.
Here are some other benefits to look forward to:
- Promotes communication. When you set up a joint bank account, you’d have to discuss a whole spectrum of financial matters with your partner. While this means that both of you will have to be honest and transparent, an open line of communication for such important issues can help to solidify the foundations of your relationship.
- Achieve saving goals. Having a joint savings account can help you both contribute towards shared plans and cultivate mutual financial responsibility. Whether you’re saving for a vacation, retirement or even for your children’s education.
How do you use a joint bank account?
There are different ways that you can operate a joint account with your partner, and how you choose to do so will depend on how you both want to manage your money. Take a look at the following scenarios for two possible ways of utilising a joint savings account.
William and Francesca are in a relationship and have been living together for one year. Both partners have their salary paid into their own personal account, and they each transfer €1,000 into the joint bank account every month for their rent, utilities and other shared expenses. The money kept in their personal accounts is theirs to use as they please.
Hans and Emma have been married for 20 years and all of their income goes into their joint account. Each month they have direct debits and mortgage payments coming out of this joint account. They also utilise their joint bank account for all other spending, including groceries, entertainment and personal expenditure, as they have built a level of trust and agreement on how they spend their money together.
What bank accounts can be opened jointly?
Both traditional and digital banks in the Netherlands offer current accounts that can be opened jointly:
Traditional current accounts
Current accounts are transaction accounts that are often used for easy, everyday spending. They often come with real-time transfers, ATM withdrawals, and a paired credit or prepaid card. In the case of joint current accounts, you will typically be offered the same number of cards as account users. Additionally, all account users will have access to mobile and internet banking features for quick money transfers.
Digital current accounts
You can also open a joint current account with digital banks in the Netherlands. This means that all your banking activities — from account registration to applying for additional cards — will be done through a handy mobile app. Digital current accounts function just like traditional accounts. The main difference is that you won’t be able to visit a physical bank branch for registration or clarification of queries.
Joint account varients
Opening a joint bank account means having both you and your partner’s names as the account holder. You can choose to have the joint account operate either on an and/and or and/or basis.
Joint and/or account (en/of rekening)
In a joint and/or account, any one of the account holders can perform banking transactions (such as withdrawing cash, writing cheques or closing the account) on that account individually. This means that one account holder can execute any banking transactions without the knowledge or acknowledgement of the other joint holder(s).
While this type of joint account offers a lot of leeways, understand that you can be held liable for any borrowing on a joint-alternate account even if you weren’t aware of the transaction.
Joint and/and account (en/en rekening)
Joint and/and account requires all holders of the account to provide and acknowledge the instruction for the banking transaction before it can be executed.
This means that whenever an account holder wishes to perform banking transactions on the account, be it withdrawing money or issuing cheques, the other account holder(s) must also authorise the transaction.
How do you compare joint accounts in the Netherlands?
Here are some key features you should take into consideration when choosing a bank account to open jointly:
- Fees. Comparing the fees associated with an account is a good way to determine which bank is more suited for you and your partner. After all, costs such as account maintenance, card and transaction fees are recurring and can easily add up over time.
- Eligibility criteria. Do you hold a Netherlands ID and do you currently reside in the Netherlands? Most traditional joint accounts stipulate these conditions as part of their eligibility criteria, while digital banks don’t.
- ATM access. Find out which are the ATMs you can withdraw cash from and if they are located within the proximity of your work and residence. Also, check if there’ll be any withdrawals fees or limits.
- Physical branches. If you prefer face-to-face customer service, you’d want to open an account with a traditional bank with physical branches instead of a digital bank.
- Account features. What banking features can you access with the account? Some of the common features to look out for include online/mobile banking support, budgeting tools and overseas funds transfers.
- Overdraft facility. An overdraft facility can be worthwhile having in case of unexpected bills or expenses in between paydays. Extra fees and interest are usually charged for this, so make sure you and your partner are clear on the terms in which the overdraft can be used since you are both responsible for the debt.
- Mobile payments. Some banks give you the option of linking your joint account with digital wallets such as Google Pay, Apple Pay or Fitbit Pay.
- Additional offers. Does the account come with any exclusive perks or discounts? Compare your options and find one that gives you the most value.
What joint bank accounts are available in the Netherlands?
- ING. ING offers a joint account among its bank account suite of products that comes with features like instant money transfers, easy bill payments, and automatic payment orders.
- ABN Amro. For a small monthly fee, you can spend on the go with ABN Amro’s debit card or sign up for their other financial products through your joint account.
- N26. While digital bank N26 does not offer a dedicated joint account, its Shared Spaces are sub-accounts that act as joint accounts. You can transfer money in and out of the account, and invite up to 10 other users.
- bunq. With bunq+1, you can opt to make any bunq account a joint account.
- Revolut. Similar to N26, Revolut offers Group Vaults as a joint account-like feature within its standard accounts. Create a Group Vault with other Revolut members and save for a common goal together.
- Monese. You can open a joint account directly via Monese’s app, and enjoy Monese’s range of features with other users.
- Knab. Knab offers joint accounts that come with debit cards, and easy account management via the Knab app.
What are the drawbacks of having a joint bank account?
Most partners find that having a joint savings account is beneficial, however, it’s important that you work together with your partner to find the best way to manage your finances and expenses before making the commitment. These are some of the risks to bear in mind:
- Exposure of personal spending habits and financial activities. Your partner will be able to track all the expenses on the joint account, which may lead to disagreements.
- Unlikely for spendings by both parties to be equal. It’s highly possible for one account holder to spend more than the other. Things may get ugly if these expenses were not discussed beforehand.
- May affect your credit history. Both parties are responsible for any fees, charges or debts that arise from the joint bank account – this means that your individual credit ratings could be affected based on your partners’ financial activity.
- Risk losing your money. Unless you opened a joint and/and account, one party can withdraw all the funds anytime without the knowledge of the other.
Tips to utilise a joint savings account successfully
Since both people have access to each other’s money, establishing trust and rules about what the joint account can be used for is essential:
- A good degree of familiarity and trust. The person whom you’re opening a joint account with ought to be someone you trust and who is capable of being financially responsible.
- Set account limits. You may find that some banks ask you to set a limit on what can be spent from the account or that both parties will need to give consent for applying for an overdraft.
- Lay out clear expectations. Ensure clear communications with your partner regarding your shared finances. Both parties should understand how much they’re expected to contribute and be transparent about the types of expenses that will be spent from the joint account.
- Be open to compromise. How much should each person contribute? Will you be splitting household expenditure equally? What should both parties do during unexpected events (e.g. hospitalisation, chronic illness or unemployment)? These are some of the questions to consider and determine in advance. If circumstances changes, make sure to adjust your shared responsibilities accordingly.
- Align your lifestyles, values and goals. Having a drastically different lifestyle and spending habits can potentially lead to conflicts. Always discuss your long-term financial goals and the effort required to keep them on track.
How to sign up
Each bank has its own method of opening a joint account, but it’d typically follow a similar process:
- Visit your bank’s website and fill up an online application form. Remember to choose the joint account option when applying and provide the details of all account holders. Depending on the bank of your choice, you may either be able to apply online or make an appointment for an in-person application.
- Verify your identities. You may be asked to verify your identity with a national ID or driver’s license.
- Await account approval, then start spending. Your account should be approved in one week, after which you will receive the debit or credit cards you have requested. Start spending or saving as a team!
Joint current accounts are useful tools to help you and your partner split expenses or save for a common goal. Ultimately, the best joint account is one that offers the features desired by both parties, at a reasonable price point.Back to top